Updated: Dec 11, 2020
If you’re living a sober life, chances are, you’re bound to end up in a social situation where other people are drinking. Alcohol is a part of many celebratory occasions and social gatherings, so sometimes it can seem impossible to avoid. Next time you’re faced with a difficult situation or craving, try one of the following non-alcoholic drink options to avoid cravings and temptation.
1. Tea (hot or cold)
Tea is a great go-to option if you don’t drink alcohol. You can get it in most places and it’s more flavourful and exciting than plain old water. Whether you take it hot or cold is your personal preference, but there is an abundance of different types of tea out there for those who prefer sweet, spicy, fruity, or floral flavours.
2. Fruit and herb-infused water
Water is an ideal beverage choice because it’s hydrating and healthy, but let’s get real—sometimes it gets boring. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can make your water more flavourful and interesting without adding tons of sugar. Take your water to the next level with strawberry, lemon, and mint for a light and sweet taste. Or, if you prefer citrus flavors, lemon and lime will do the job. Cucumber, lemon, and celery is another popular and refreshing option. Not only will adding fruit and herbs to your water help you forget about the alcohol in social situations, but it can also encourage you to drink more water daily.
3. Sparkling water
If you prefer a more bubbly taste, sparkling water is a great alternative to alcohol. Topo Chico is a popular brand of sparkling mineral water but there are also plenty of other options that boast a variety of flavours and sugarless or calorie-free options. Unfortunately, some flavoured sparkling waters do carry extra sugar or calories, so if that’s a concern for you, you may want to stick to plain carbonated water.
4. Coffee (hot or iced)
Coffee is another great option and like many of the other drinks on this list, it can be customized to your preference with different flavours, add-ins, and methods of preparation. For example, depending on the season or your mood, you can take it hot or iced, with or without sugar. You can also add flavored syrups (sugar-free or not) and try different blends and beans such as Arabica beans, Robusta beans, or Liberica beans.
5. Club soda with flavored syrup
If you like the taste of soda but want to cut back on the sugar, drinking club soda with flavoured syrup (homemade or not) is another option. The best part about this is you can adjust the ratio of club soda and syrup to suit your taste preferences, depending on how sweet you like it. Club soda or sparkling water is often available at social events like weddings or award ceremonies or you can make your own at home with ingredients like watermelon, coconut, blueberries, ginger, lemon, lime, and orange for a delicious treat.
6. Spiced apple cider
Although you may not be able to find this one year-round, spiced apple cider is a great alternative to alcohol if you plan on attending fall-themed work functions, parties, or other social events in the fall or winter. You can also make this one at home if you’re in the mood for autumn beverages and want something different to drink.
Fruit juice is often available at social gatherings and events and can definitely be more exciting than plain water when it comes to flavour. Options like grape juice, carrot juice or cranberry juice will do the job, but you can also make your own juice at home with ingredients like spinach, cucumber, apples, parsley, ginger, or any other fruit, vegetable, and spice you have available in your kitchen. Making your own juice can offer a variety of health benefits and you can get as creative as you want with the flavours, so what’s not to love?
8. Soda water and herbs
Spice up your soda water with a few common herbs that you probably already have in your kitchen, such as mint, rosemary, or thyme. You can also easily order these concoctions at restaurants or social gatherings in a pinch. Other flavour options could include rosemary with ginger ale or thyme and lemon-lime soda.
9. Water with fruity ice cubes
To stay hydrated while you’re out with friends or even just at work, you can also opt for plain water with fruit ice cubes. This is admittedly more for aesthetics, but it can also add a hint of fruity flavor to cold and refreshing water while also making it beautiful! Simply freeze chunks of pineapple, blueberries, strawberries, mango, lemon, or lime in your ice cubes and pop them into your water when you’re craving something different.
Adjusting to a sober lifestyle takes time and sometimes even a little bit of creativity. Many people in recovery adopt a primary alcohol-free beverage of their choice to stave off cravings or to avoid temptation in social situations. However, simply replacing alcohol with another beverage isn’t going to address the underlying causes of your alcohol addiction.